Tianna Edwards grew up in Kingston, Ontario and moved away for 10 years to complete her post-secondary education and begin her career as a journalist. She currently works as the Officer of Direct Response Appeals in the Office of Advancement at Queen’s. She founded and runs the blog, Keep up with Kingston in her spare time. She is also currently completing her Masters part-time in Cultural Studies at Queen’s. She has a BA degree (Hons) in Media Studies as well as a diploma in Journalism from the University of Guelph Humber. Her undergrad thesis studied the misrepresentation of black culture through black media. Her research interests are race and space and representation. For her Masters, she plans to focus on Kingston’s inclusivity policies as they relate to the local black experience. She is also a wife and has a one-year-old daughter, Vee.
Recently, in the height of the global civil rights movement, Tianna grounded the global issue, locally, by sharing about her personal experience as a black woman in Kingston in a post called “Being Black in Kingston.”
What brings you comfort when facing the unknowns in life?
When I am feeling unsettled by what’s ahead, I try to ground myself in gratitude. I remind myself of everything I have to be grateful for. It’s easy to get overwhelmed but even in the most trying times there is at least one thing to be thankful for and that always gives me perspective to face any challenge or uncertainty.
How do you stay true to yourself?
I stay honest with myself and those around. Being honest all of the time can be difficult in the moment, but I always benefit long term. Anytime I’ve strayed from being completely who I am, I end up surrounding myself with energy that doesn’t align with who I am and that is draining.
What does balance look like for you?
Balance looks different for me day-to-day. The things that make me feel the most balanced on a regular basis are making and eating great meals with my family, getting lots of fresh air, exercising and working towards a goal.
What’s your biggest passion and how are you pursuing it?
As much as I consider writing to be a passion of mine, my biggest passion has always been dancing. I haven’t been pursuing that as much as I would like to. But dance is something that is on my radar to do more often.
Your best piece of advice?
Don’t be afraid to be wrong. Ego is behind some of the world’s biggest problems. Staying open to learning and being vulnerable is how we grow. The minute we close our minds because we think we’ve learned everything we need to know is the minute we put limitations on ourselves and those close to us.
What/who is your biggest inspiration?
Anyone who is unapologetically themselves even if it breeds controversy.
What does your perfect morning look like?
Waking up to a quiet house to do yoga, then make a really great breakfast (likely French toast) to eat with my husband and daughter and then go for a family bike ride to the waterfront.
How have our affirmation tags helped you?
These little messages found on the Pure Balanxed pieces are special because they pop up in unexpected moments. You might not realize that you need a reminder of your worthiness until you find it written on your clothing.
Which Instagram accounts are you crushing on right now?
From my personal account I love following @travon; he is an award-winning writer (used to write for The Daily Show) and shares the most insightful content; @theconsciouskid makes me re-think how I see the world every day; @donte.colley for his balance between fun, silly and advocacy: @dopequeenpheebs, she’s hilariously honest. From my Keep up with Kingston account I like to follow all of our local shops to see what they are up to as well as restaurants like @olivea, @theeverlykingston and @chezpiggy for food inspo.
What’s your favourite way to wear Pure Balanxed?
Anytime I want to feel extra cozy! On a walk in early spring or just lounging around the house. When I want a little extra softness, I throw on my sweater. It’s like a security blanket.
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